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POLITICS

(see also International Relations)

> Level 1
PI 1013
INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS: HISTORY AND CONCEPTS
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr M Bain

Pre-requisite(s): None

Co-requisite(s): None

The course covers a broad range of historical events ranging from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present. It introduces students to the development of International Relations as a discipline, but also to key concepts and analytical skills required to study the subject at a higher level.

2 one-hour lectures and associated tutorial teaching.

1st Attempt: This course is assessed by one online quiz (5%), one bibliography test (10%), one 1500 word essay (25%) and 1 two hour written examination (60%).

Resit: 1 two-hour written examination (100%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

One tutorial presentation and a quiz in the revision class. This may use the Personal Response System (PRS).

Written feedback will be provided for the bibliography test and essay. This will normally be provided within three weeks of the submission date.

Oral feedback on the presentations will be provided.

For the PRS quiz the correct answers will be provided in the class.

PI 1516
INTRODUCTION TO POLITICAL SCIENCE: BRITISH POLITICS AND THE EU
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Professor P Cairney and Dr A Glencross

Pre-requisite(s): None.

Co-requisite(s): PI 1013.

The European Union's influence and reach is central to an understanding of British politics - but what exactly is the European Union and what is the effect of 'Europeanisation' on British politics? This course examines the main features of the UK (including its institutional arrangements, political parties and government) and EU systems (Commission, Council, Parliament) and explains the effect of the EU on the British policy process. It situates this study within a growing interest in 'multi-level governance', which describes a diffusion of power from central governments to other levels of government and to quasi and non-governmental actors.

2 one-hour lectures and 1 one-hour tutorial per week.

1st Attempt: 1 two-hour written examination (60%); continuous assessment (40%). Continuous assessment is one 1,500 word essay.

Resit: 1 two-hour written examination (100%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

One online quiz approximately every 4 weeks, covering (1) the UK, (2) the EU and (3) the effect of the EU and other developments on the UK political system.

Summative assessment feedback (within 2 weeks of submission) based on the School of Social Science's form which combines written comments with set criteria for achievement.

Formative assessment will be 0% of the grade, so students can get their mark instantly and then review their incorrect answers immediately (feedback on the responses will be provided via webct). Although it is formative, each student will have to demonstrate that they have completed the exercise.

 

> Level 2
PI 2006
POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr L Bennie

Pre-requisite(s): Both level 1 Politics and International Relations courses.

The course explores the meaning of political ideology, the core, adjacent and peripheral concepts associated with various ideological traditions, and the areas of contention within and between ideologies. The course critically assesses liberalism, socialism, conservatism, anarchism as well as more contemporary perspectives such as the extreme right and ecologism.

Two one hour lectures per week and one one hour tutorial per week.

One two hour written exam (60%); in-course assessment/essay (40%).

Continuous assessment is one 1500 word essay.

One two hour exam (60%); In-course grades will be carried forward unless the student opts to resubmit course work.(40%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Feedback in tutorials. Tutors are encouraged to be as creative as possible, so this can take many forms.

Detailed written feedback on essay provided within two weeks of submission. Continuous feedback from tutors, including oral feedback on tutorial presentations and group-work.

PI 2007
THEORIES OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Professor M. K. Pasha and Dr. A. Teti

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to students in Program Year 2 or above who have passed PI1013 Introduction to International Relations: History and Concepts, and PI1515 Introduction to Political Science

This course offers an introduction to the major perspectives deployed in the study of International Relations within a framework stressing the importance of theory to our understanding of world politics. The course will examine a variety of theoretical approaches, including Classical and Structural Realism, Social Constructivism; the English School; Marxist and Neo-Gramscian Theory; Postmodernism, Feminism, and Postcolonialism.

2 One hour lectures, 1 one hour tutorial

Two-hour examination 60%, in course assessment 40% (one essay 2000 words)

Examination 100%

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Peer and lecture feedback on tutorial presentation

Written feedback on essay. Oral feedback in tutorials

PI 2505
DEMOCRACY: ISSUES AND CONTROVERSIES
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Professor C W Haerpfer

Pre-requisite(s): Successful completion of year 1 in Politics and International Relations courses.

Increasingly, people around the world seem to agree that democracy is the only legitimate and feasible form of government. But what exactly does democracy mean? Although the literal meaning of the Greek word demokratia is clear (demos means people and kratia means rule or authority; hence democracy means rule by the people), the theoretical dimensions and practical implications of the concept are at times fiercely contested. This course offers a broad introduction to the changing nature of democracy and to the problems of putting democracy into practice in today's world. We examine the historical development of the meaning of democracy, beginning with an overview of the major approaches in democratic theory. We investigate the conditions for thriving democracies, as well as the major obstacles for democratic practice, including the challenges of capitalism and transitions from authoritarian rule. We will examine and evaluate the democratic credentials of different political institutions, party systems and systems of government, and explore new ideas for making politics more democratic. By the end of the course you should have thorough knowledge and understanding of the ideas, possibilities, and limitations of democratic government.

1 one-hour lecture and 1 one-hour tutorial per week.

1st Attempt: This course is assessed by one essay (40%) and a written examination (60%).

Resit: 1 two-hour written examination (100%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Students will receive verbal assessments of their tutorial presentations immediately after the respective seminar.

Written feedback will be provided for continuous assessment work. This will normally be provided within three weeks of the submission date.

PI 2507
INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY
CREDIT POINTS 15

Course Co-ordinator: Dr R Vij

Pre-requisite(s): None

The course provides a historical overview of capitalism as a global system of organizing political and economic life, the role of international economic institutions (like the IMF, World Bank and WTO) and their role in stabilizing global economic and political order. Topics covered include trade, global finance (and crisis), globalization, and regionalism with particular attention to their impact on global development, welfare and poverty.

2 one-hour lectures and 1 one-hour tutorial per week.

1st Attempt: This course is assessed by one 1,500 word essay (50%) and 1 two-hour written examination (50%).

Resit: 1 two-hour written examination (100%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

One tutorial presentation.

Written feedback will be provided for the essay and test. This will normally be provided within two weeks of the submission date.

Oral feedback on the presentations will be provided.

 

> Level 3
PI 3055 / PI 3555
NORDIC POLITICS
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Dr A Widfeldt

Pre-requisite(s): Available to students in Programme Year 3 and above who have achieved 75 credit points from level 1 and 2 Politics & International Relations courses.

Note(s): This course will be available in the second half-session of 2012/13 as PI 3555.

The course is designed to provide a basic introduction to the political systems of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The treatment will be comparative, and designed to strengthen students' understanding of a relatively neglected region of the New Europe. Following a brief historical introduction, the focus of the course will be on the comparative analysis of the 'political inputs': political culture, elections, electoral systems, referenda, social cleavages and voting, parties, party system, governments, and parliaments. Drawing on the basic comparative politics literature, the course will also consider issues such as party system change, security policy and neo-corporatism in the Nordic context.

1 two-hour lecture and 1 one-hour seminar per week.

1st Attempt: 1 three-hour written examination (60%);
1 continuous assessment essay of 5,000 words (40%).

Resit: 1 three-hour examination (60%); In-course grades will be carried forward unless the student opts to resubmit course work (40%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Written feedback will be provided for continuous assessment work. This will normally be provided within three weeks of the submission date. Oral feedback on class presentations will also be provided where appropriate.

PI 3057 / PI 3557
SCOTTISH POLITICS
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Professor P Cairney

Pre-requisite(s): Available to students in Programme Year 3 and above who have achieved 75 credit points from level 1 and 2 Politics & International Relations courses.

Note(s): This course will be available in the second half-session of 2012/13 as PI 3557.

The course examines Scottish politics since devolution. Topics covered include the rise and effect of nationalism, 'new politics' and forms of democracy, political parties, multi-level governance, and the effect of devolution on public policy. It includes a trip to the Scottish Parliament.

2 one-hour lectures and 2 one-hour tutorials per week (most weeks).

1st Attempt: 1 three-hour written examination (60%); continuous assessment (40%). Continuous assessment: one 4,000 word essay.

Resit: 1 three-hour exam (60%). In-course grades will be carried forward unless the student opts to resubmit course work (40%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Online quiz.

Extensive feedback on summative assessment via Grademark on turnitin.

Automatic feedback on formative quiz via MyAberdeen.
Oral feedback in tutorials.

PI 3061 / PI 3561
POLITICAL ANALYSIS
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Dr H Brandenburg and Dr A Widfeldt

Pre-requisite(s): Available to students in Programme Year 3 and above who have achieved 75 credit points from level 1 and 2 Politics & International Relations courses.

Note(s): This course will be available in the first half-session of 2012/13 as PI 3561.

  • An introduction to the philosophy of science

  • An introduction to quantitative and qualitative analysis

  • The application of research methods to the study of political behaviour and attitudes

  • Theoretical and empirical insights into key concepts, including voting behaviour, political participation, equality, diversity, representation and trust.

3 one-hour lectures per week;
1 one-hour computing lab session per week.

1st Attempt: One online multiple choice examination (20%);
Four 500 word written group exercises (4*10% = 40%);
One 5,000 word essay (40%).

Students will be required to submit or resubmit failed or missing elements at an agreed later date. In the absence of a student's ability to resubmit a group-related project, s/he can arrange to submit an individual project in agreement with the course coordinator.

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Students will receive oral and written feedback on their in-courses assessments as the course progresses.

PI 3062 / PI 3562
PI 3552 POLITICAL PARTIES IN BRITAIN
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Dr L Bennie

Pre-requisite(s): Available to students in Programme Year 3 and above who have achieved 75 credit points from level 1 and 2 Politics & International Relations courses.

Note(s): This course will be available in the second half-session of 2012/13 as PI 3562.

The course involves a detailed examination of British Parties, with a focus on:
Party philosophy;
Party policies;
Power and organisation;
Voting, elections and campaigns.

One lecture and 1 two-hour seminar per week.

1st Attempt: One 3,500 word essay (40%) and a three-hour exam (60%).

1 three-hour examination (60%). In-course grades will be carried forward unless the student opts to resubmit course work (40%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Feedback on group work.

Continuous feedback in class, especially on group presentations.

PI 3063 / PI 3563
COMPARATIVE EUROPEAN POLITICS
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: TBA

Pre-requisite(s): Available to students in programme year 3 and above who have achieved 75 credit points from level 1 and 2 Politics & International Relations courses.

Co-requisite(s): None

Note(s): PLEASE dual-code the course

The course will introduce students to the primary aims of comparative political analysis. Students will learn what comparative politics is and why do we compare.

The module will familiarize students with some of the main issues in comparative politics, such as how to compare European countries, their legislatures, governments, constitutions and judicial power, party politics and party systems, elections, electoral systems and referendums.

Two one-hour lectures and one one-hour tutorial.

1 three hour written examination (60%); continuous assessment (40%) = presentation (10%), and one 3,000 word essay (30%)

Written examination 100%

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

None

Written feedback will be provided for continuous assessment work. This will normally be provided within three weeks of the submission date. Oral feedback on class presentations will also be provided where appropriate.

PI 3064 / PI 3564
RADICAL BASQUE NATION-BUILDING AND THE NEW SPANISH DEMOCRACY
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Dr S Durkin

Pre-requisite(s): Available to students in programme year 3 and above who have achieved 75 credit points from level 1 and 2 Politics & International Relations courses.

Note(s): This course will run in the second half-session of 2012/13 as PI 3564.

The course will scrutinise the political and social conditions which gave rise to the 'Basque Conflict', a paradigmatic case of a conflict at the level of the state. Topics to be considered include but are not confined to: industrialisation and the emergence of Basque nationalism; the Spanish Civil War and its legacy; the emergence and durability of ETA; the transition to democracy; social movements for peace and future prospects in the light of the demise of political violence.

1 one hour lecture and 1 one hour seminar. The course will also employ DVD (documentary) materials.

1 three hour written examination (60%); and 1 continuous assessment essay of 3500 words (40%).

One three hour exam (60%). In-course grades will be carried forward unless the student opts to resubmit course work (40%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

None

Written feedback will be provided for continuous assessment work. This will normally be provided within three weeks of the submission date. Oral feedback on class presentations will also be provided where appropriate.

 

> Level 4

PLEASE NOTE: Resit: (for Honours students only): Candidates achieving a CAS mark of 6-8 may be awarded compensatory level 1 credit. Candidates achieving a CAS mark of less than 6 will be required to submit themselves for re-assessment and should contact the Course Co-ordinator for further details.

PI 4031 / PI 4531
GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Dr M Lorenzi

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to Level 4 students

Note(s): This course will run in the second half-session of 2012/13 as PI 4570.

In this course we will consider some of the most crucial dilemmas facing government and business today?including whether economic globalization threatens national sovereignty; the place of public opinion, unions, and other advocacy groups in government-business relations; and the best way to improve the accountability of multinationals. The module will raise questions of theoretical significance about the challenge corporations make to the sovereignty of states and democracy.
In the first part we will examine the relationship between politics and business that characterizes contemporary democracy in the US and in Europe. We will also examine the corporate activities in the political arena and how corporations try to influence the policy- making process.
The second part of the course is on the issue of accountability at the national and international level. We will investigate a series of key issues concerning the evolving relationship between business and government in the global economy, such as the nature of multinational corporations, the particular problems of developing countries, and the potential contribution of international civil society to business regulation and global governance.

1 one hour lecture and 1 one hour seminar

1 three hour written examination (60%); and 1 continuous assessment essay of 3000 words (40%).

100% exam

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

None

Extensive written feedback on summative assessment . Continuous feedback on oral contributions in class.

PI 4057 / PI 4557
POLITICAL COMMUNICATION
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Dr H Brandenburg

Pre-requisite(s): None.

Note(s): This course will be available in the first half-session of 2012.

Irrespective to whether democracy is understood as an inclusive, participatory form of government or instead as a competitive and manipulative game between elites, the role of communication and political mediation is paramount.

This course approaches the subject of political communication from normative/theoretical as well as empirical viewpoints. Historically, we cover the evolution of political manipulation from propaganda to modern public relations techniques and political marketing strategies, and the changing face of policy-making in the age of almost permanent campaigning and opinion polling. Empirical emphasis is given to the increasing importance of mass media in the democratic process and to the study of measurable effects of political communication (agenda setting, framing, etc), covering a range of actors, from governments and political parties to social and non-governmental campaigners.

Given the increasing importance and repeatedly proclaimed potential of modern web technology for more political inclusion and broader participation, the course departs from classical political communication textbook material to discuss also the scope and effectiveness of an emerging "virtual public sphere" in which political discourse shall no longer be elite-driven and fed by the mass media to passive consumers, but generated from below as a citizen dialogue.

1 two-hour lecture and 1 one-hour seminar per week.

1st Attempt: Examination (60%) and in-course assessment (40%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Written feedback will be provided for continuous assessment work. This will normally be provided within three weeks of the submission date. Oral feedback on class presentations will also be provided where appropriate.

PI 4059
DISSERTATION
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Dr A Widfeldt

Pre-requisite(s): Available only to Level 4 students.

Students will prepare and present, under the supervision of a member of staff, a dissertation on a topic approved by Politics and International Relations.

Dissertation, 10,000 - 12,000 words in length (100%).

PI 4060 / PI 4560
THE EXTREME RIGHT IN WESTERN EUROPE
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Dr A Widfeldt

Pre-requisite(s): PI3058/PI3558

Note(s): This course will be available in the first half-session of 2012/13 as PI4060.

The extreme right party family has grown in significance in recent decades. This growth has not been restricted to electoral support, but has also been noticeable in terms of legitimacy as well as direct and indirect political influence. The course will provide an in-depth understanding of extreme right parties. It will examine alternative definitons of extreme right parties, their ideology, their political impact, the reasons for their success and any possible links between the contemporary extreme right and traditional fascism. Key controversial concepts, such as racism, xenophobia and extremism will be scrutinised. The course will provide in-depth contry-by-country coverage as well as broadly comparative and conceptual themes.

1 two-hour lecture and 1 one-hour seminar per week,

1st Attempt: 1 three-hour written examination (60%); 1 continuous assessment essay of 5000 words (40%).

Resit: Examination (100%)

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Extensive written feedback on summative assessment. Continuous feedback on oral contributions in class.

PI 4062
NATIONALISM IN MODERN EUROPE
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Professor M Keating

Pre-requisite(s):

Note(s): This course is available to both Politics and International Relations students. This course will be available in the second half-session of 2012/13.

Nationalism is one of the most powerful forces in modern politics. Its death has been pronounced many times but it always seems to return, in the United Kingdom, across Europe and in the world at large. Theories of nationalism range from the primordialists, who see it as a product of deep forces in the human psyche and history, to modernists who insist that it is the fruit of modernization and subject to construction and change. Evaluations range from the condemnation of those who see in it nothing but manipulation and aggression to those who argue for it as an essential underpinning to the liberal democratic polity and social solidarity. We will explore these issues in a comparative perspective, considering the principal theories and examining instances of nationalism in practice.

1 two-hour lectures and 1 one-hour seminar per week.

1st attempt: 3 hour examination (60%); in-course assessment (40%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Written feedback will be provided for continuous assessment work. This will normally be provided within three weeks of the submission date. Oral feedback on class presentations will also be provided where appropriate.

PI 4063 / PI 4563
UNDERSTANDING PUBLIC POLICY: THEORIES AND ISSUES
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Professor P Cairney

Pre-requisite(s): None.

Note(s): This course will be available in the second half semester of 2012/13 as PI 4563.

The course is designed to investigate the dynamics of public policy. In seminars we consider the main ways to explain how and why policymakers make decisions. We discuss the nature of policy, power and the role of ideas. We explore theories on institutions, rational choice, policy networks, agenda setting and governance and compare them with descriptions of policy cycles and the ‘rational actor’. For the course assessment, each student selects a policy issue that they are particularly interested in, outlines the main events and seeks to explain those events by drawing on public policy theories.

1 two-hour seminar per week on theory and 1 two-hour seminar per week on case studies.

1st attempt: 1 three-hour written exam (60%); continuous assessment (40%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Written feedback will be provided for continuous assessment work. This will normally be provided within three weeks of the submission date. Oral feedback on class presentations will also be provided where appropriate.

PI 4064 / PI 4564
DEMOCRATISATION
CREDIT POINTS 30

Course Co-ordinator: Professor C W Haerpfer

Pre-requisite(s): None.

Note(s): This course is open to both Politics and International Relations students. This course will run in the second half-session of 2012/13 as PI 4564.

This option is dealing with the 'Third wave of democratization' between 1968 and 2005 in Southern Europe, South and post-Communist Central and Eastern Europe. It deals with the emergence of democracy and market economy at the level of the general public and electorate as well as the level of elites and institutions subsequent to the political events in summer 1968 in Europe and the USA. The course introduces discussion about the character of these processes of democratization as 'transitions', 'transformation' or 'revolution' between authoritarian and democratic regimes. The course is situated within mainstream debates about democratization and marketisation as processes within post-authoritarian societies.

1 two-hour lecture and 2 one-hour seminars per week.

1st Attempt: Examination (60%), in-course assessment (40%).

Formative Assessment and Feedback Information

Students will receive verbal assessments of their tutorial presentations immediately after the respective seminar.

Written feedback will be provided for continuous assessment work. This will normally be provided within three weeks of the submission date.